In today’s “Duh News”, Dutch courts have finally come to their senses and have ruled that “Black Pete” is truly in fact racist.
Known as Zwarte Piet, or “Black Pete,” the character has been controversial in the country for decades, but many in Amsterdam feel that it’s harmless. But today, courts ruled that it’s not.
According to the Associated Press, “the court said … that Black Pete’s appearance, in combination with the fact that he is often portrayed as dumb and servile, makes it ‘a negative stereotype of black people.'”
The Amsterdam District Court ordered the city to re-examine its decision to grant a permit for one part of the annual winter festival attended by thousands of children: the arrival of St. Nicholas, or “Sinterklaas.”
Adults dress up to play the Dutch version of the story, with St. Nicholas arriving by steamboat from Spain in November, accompanied by a flotilla of boats packed with Black Petes. St. Nicholas rides a white horse accompanied by the clowning Petes, who hand out cookies. Festivities conclude later with a night of gift giving on Dec. 5.
Amsterdam has begun discussing possible solutions, including using different colors of face paint for Pete, or merely smudging his cheeks with soot.
Or how about not smudging his cheeks with soot and just dress up in costumes?